Quick service oil center to take the place of old bank branch on Iowa Street

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World photo

The US Bank at 27th and Iowa streets in Lawrence is pictured in November 2020.

If you are keeping a running list, here’s another difference between New York’s Wall Street and Lawrence’s Iowa Street. On Wall Street, news of converging interests between banking and oil may completely change the direction of the market. On Iowa Street, it may well change the direction of my pickup truck.

The big banking and oil convergence on Iowa Street is that plans have been filed for a vacant bank branch to be demolished to make way for a new Valvoline quick-service oil change center. (And trust me, if you saw how much oil my old pickup burns, you’d know I’m not minimizing this news.)

The plans filed at City Hall involve tearing down the small drive-thru bank branch building at 2701 Iowa St., which used to be occupied by US Bank. As we reported in November, US Bank decided to close that branch as the banking industry has begun cutting back on branches as online banking takes hold.

The new plans show that a Valvoline Instant Oil Change Center will be constructed on the same spot. If you are having a hard time picturing the location, it basically is in the same shopping center that includes Dick’s Sporting Goods, The Boot Barn, Chick-fil-A and several other retailers on the southwest corner of 27th and Iowa streets.

Valvoline, a longtime motor oil company, has started opening franchise locations that primarily provide oil changes, but also do some other maintenance chores, such as rotating tires, replacing air filters, servicing air conditioners, changing light bulbs and other maintenance tasks. One of the company’s selling points online is that you can remain in your car the entire time that you’re having the oil changed, which usually takes about 15 minutes.

The company opens the quick-service stores through franchise agreements, and they have started popping up around the state, with locations in Mission, Olathe, Overland Park, Shawnee, Topeka and Wichita, according to the company’s website.

The Lawrence plans call for about a 2,000-square-foot building to be constructed on the site. The project is estimated to have about a $1.1 million construction cost, according to the documents filed with City Hall.

The quick service auto repair business is a bit of an active market in Lawrence right now. You may remember that in July we reported on plans by Laird Noller Automotive to build a new 12 to 15 bay quick service auto center at 814 W. 23rd St., which is across the street from Laird Noller’s Ford dealership. That construction work is well underway along 23rd Street.

No word yet on when the Valvoline project may be complete, but the project has most of the major approvals it needs from City Hall. It is seeking site plan approval, which largely consists of technical details related to parking, lighting, landscaping and other such issues.


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